Pompeii is located in the Gulf of Naples, Italy, at the foot of Mount Vesuvius. In 79AD, this town was buried under six metres of ash and pumice after the eruption of Mt Vesuvius. The Plinian eruption lasted 18 hours with a 20,000 metre ash cloud, raining down pumice stones and volcanic ash.
It began at 1 pm on August 24th, 79AD with many earth tremors and of Mt Vesuvius erupts, sending a mushroom cloud of gas and superheated rock up and southwards towards Pompeii, by 1:30 pm, the sun was completely blocked out and pumice started to fall, covering everything. Violent tremors cause buildings to collapse while Vesuvius spits out toxic gases and loud, grumbling noises. Many Pompeians flee to the beach in hope of being rescued but the large floating banks of pumice prevent ships to come close to shore.
In the evening the eruption reaches its peak as larger and more compressed pumice falls, causing widespread houses to collapse under the weight. For many, roofs didn't concave but the heavy rocks piled up and blocked their doorways, trapping them within their homes. Numerous families were unaware of what was happening, think it would eventually stop, unaware that death was inevitable unless they escaped Pompeii. On August 25th at around 5:00 am, Pompeii and other cities around Vesuvius such as Herculaneum, 17 km away from Pompeii, was fully covered in ash and volcanic material.
Early the next morning, a series of powerful surges overcome the walls and sweep over the town in massive waves of toxic gas and burning, smothering ash. Pompeii’s remaining inhabitants are killed instantly and the city is buried. Most who die at Pompeii perish in this phase of the eruption. " … my mother implored … me to escape … I refused to save myself without her, and grasping her hand forced her to quicken her pace." - Pliny the Younger.
The significance of the 79AD eruption is that the whole city was preserved under metres of solidified ash for over 1000 years, forgotten. Pompeii was then discovered by accident in 1748 and excavations were continued until this day, creating more discoveries and clues on how life was lived in the Ancient world. Whereas in other Roman and Greek cities, the detail in findings wasn't near the quality found at Pompeii as the ash acted like a time capsule, showing exactly what life was like for Pomeians at 79AD in 2015.